maanantai 13. maaliskuuta 2017

I am too tired to title this.

Hello there, its blog time again. And this might be my longest blog yet, so stick with me, buddies.
We started our Monday morning in the usual way, a lecture in Otaniemi. This time the guest lecturer was Aida Hubanic, a mentor, and a motivator.

The breakup of Yugoslavia occurred as a result of a series of political upheavals and conflicts during the early 1990s. After a period of political crisis in the 1980s, constituent republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia split apart, but the unsolved issues caused bitter inter-ethnic Yugoslav wars. The wars primarily affected Bosnia and Croatia… Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence on 3 March 1992 and received international recognition the following month on April 6, 1992. On the same date, the Serbs responded by declaring the independence of the Republika Srpska and laying siege to Sarajevo which marked the start of the Bosnian War

The siege of Sarajevo lasted all the way to early 1996. During that time 11 500 citizens were killed and 50 000 injured. One of them being Aida’s brother. To know more about her story I read the Apu article she mentioned from couple years back.

She and her family came to Finland to get the medical healthcare the siblings needed. They originally planned to stay only couple years but never moved back to Sarajevo.

There are currently wars going on in our world, and I think someone us forget about that, what is really like. I went for a walk yesterday because it was so sunny and warm, and when I came back to central Helsinki, I saw the “Rajat kiinni”- protest. It almost ruined my day and makes me so sick that some people can be so close-minded and straight on racist.

Aida told us how she came up with her story and her identity in a kitchen table. She had experienced more than rest of us by that age but turned those experiences to her resources. While thinking out her own story, she developed her method of mentoring, a tool, the 3E puzzle. Explore, expand, execute.
Explore different parts of your life, expand those parts and dreams to goals, and then execute those plans. This leads her to stabilize her own company and start giving inspirational speaks and motive people.

The week rolled on, we gathered to work on the SSM project in Microsoft Flux. we had quite productive day and good pizza too! On Thursday I participated in the E-commerce fair in Messukeskus. I registered as an AD from LaureaES as I usually do, so I got the ticket really easily. I optimized my time and listened to three speeches in a row since I was also helping out on LaureaES’s Pitch& Beer - event that evening. Luckily for me, those three were also the most interesting ones.
I got much out of the talks, not only for me and my personal interest, but also I learned a lot of information which will be valuable in our SSM project.

Keinot maksimoida verkkokauppasi asiakasmäärä By Maiju Fernelius, director of mail & direct marketing services in Posti Oy.

I founded this speak to be very useful for our SSM project. But out of the 30 minutes she spoke, she spoke only 5 minutes about web shops and how to maximize the customer flow. The focus on her speech was on how effective direct marketing really is. And that was the main way to “maximize the customer flow” which I think was very one-sided view of the subject. And since she even works for a Posti, the mail company, I don’t think that she should talk about web shops, since she can only bring one opinion to the table.

They make a study about how people actually remember advertising spontaneously. They studied which companies advertising do Finns remember to hear or seen in a past week. They didn’t tell name any companies or products, so the study would reliable as possible. In the results they got, the shops were more remembered and 25 out of 30 were either shops like Prisma, H&M or web shops like Zalando and

Their research also showed that the direct unaddressed marketing via mail was the most remembered ( 55% ) following the email newsletter second (50%) and printed newspaper third 44%. Internet was the seventh and only 31% of people remembered advertising from the internet, 24% from social media.
The direct marketing is seen as the most pleasant way of marketing, whereas online advertising can be annoying and most of the ad blocker users are Diginatives like myself.

The UKs Royal Mail made a similar study lasting 18 months called The private life of mail. Key results by her opinion where that direct marketing is really the most effective one. It has many places in your home and if not thrown away immediately, it can travel inside of the house for months. Also Canadas post made a similar study were they stated that customer process and remember best the message and the marketer of direct add and that those adds are both, processed quicker and actually make the customer act on it.

She told about case example of website Dick Johnson, who sells mans cosmetics and hygiene products. The results were great; right after they advertised in Postinen (that orange annoying leaflet you get every week) their websites visitors doubled. They also included a promo code in the add and said that they got orders with that code even a month after the release of the add. She also stated couple main points of good add; a Good deal, interesting for the customer aka found the right target group, and visually pleasing.

But the website stuff?

She pointed three main things

1. Plan well the content of your add and your target group
2. Choose channels which support your goals
3. Track the results and repeat. The campaign usually works best In many channels.

The next speech I listened was about creating a great customer experience by using high-quality content by Daniel Lambert-Kryss from InRiver. I was super interested in this speech since I have talked about the importance of quality content before. But I was disappointed, because he spoke very fast, so it was actually pretty hard for me to keep track of all what he said while making notes. This speech was not as interesting than the two other since he didn’t really talk about the topic. His point of bit off and mostly he talked about micro-moments how it is not about products or services anymore it is about moments. People don’t buy the stuff, they buy the moment. In this time of internet, 90% of people purchase across screens and for 82% mobile is a shopping assistant.

"Micro-moments have fragmented the customer journey" - Google

His lecture was a bit confusing in my point of view, - and my notes too, but what I got out of his lecture that to archive a quality content and user-friendly content you need to build up a story. Every product tells a story, everything is a product and it is about how you tell it if it is quality or not if it is interesting or not. And nowadays it's more about user experience than product experience. I am not sure what he meant by product experience, his lecture was clearly targeted for someone deeper in a marketing scene than I am...

He also talked about The customer challenge, when a company has 5 – 10 different channels where they meet the customer and where they have to represent themselves.

10 rules of inbound marketing

This was the by far most inspiring lecture I have listened in this spring. I actually made 5(!) pages of notes. It was by Jarkko Kurvinen, author or B2B markkinoinnin & myynnin pelikirja (Guidebook to B2B marketing & Sales)

1. Understand your customer

Anymore there isn’t only news, where you get the information around the world. Social media is the place where you read about what is going on in the world and this leaves the original medias, newspapers, and tv-channels in crisis. Original medias to battle for their existence. Every one of us carries a media tool in their pocket and everyone can become a media. We as starting to live a new dark age when there is so much information available but not a way telling if it is true or not. And the battle of clicks and that way income is getting more and more ridiculous, with even the big newspapers to write click bait headlines to gain attention. Existence is measured by likes and clicks these days. And when everything is happening now, and all the time 24/7/365 the old medias cannot compete.

The everything right now – attitude has lead the companies and selling as a concept in a crisis. There is a problem when a company serves the customer in the company’s terms, not in customers terms. Customers want to be served when it is optimal for them and the way they what. Meaning that the buying has become a self-service. As millennials and generation after us grow older the amount of population who wants to be served online changes. So the big movement that companies have to make is from company centric to customer centric. This does not only apply to online companies and services but it's also happening in the traditional stores. People go to those stores which serve them when the customer wants to be served. For example, I am from a small city called Varkaus, in northern Savonia. In there, most of the “actual” coffee shops close at 5 pm. Still, I see the only coffee place that is open until 8 or 9 pm full of people after 5 pm. The most tragicomic are that most of these coffee shop owners then complain that they don’t make enough money on the daytime… Well, I wonder why. The most of the potential customers are in working age, meaning that they are working in the hours that the coffee shops are open.

What inbound marketing have to do with being the customer centric and available? Inbound marketing was first introduced by Seth Godin in his book in the 90s. Inbound marketing basically means that the content that company produces changes from annoying marketing (Finnish: tyrkytyksestä) to a provider of value. And inbound marketing is basically providing certain aspects to the customer to find, building up a brand and reputation. This means social media, SEO, PR, earned media etc. It’s the content, a hook, something that attracts the customer in the playfield. But the downloaded PDF doesn’t still mean that they are ready to buy anything. There is a difference between marketing-ready and buying-ready customer. What you need to do is to deepen the relationship by offering relevant content.

In companies, there is usually a deep hole between marketing and sales, and it should not be that way, Jarkko states. Their biggest problem is the communication, and the word “lead” which is a key part of both of they process, might mean totally different for other. Marketing catches the potential customer, turns them to customers by providing interesting content and then forwards them to sales when they are ready to buy.
He also talked about buyer personas and how they affect customer’s choices. The biggest difference between B2B and B2C buyer personas is the difference in decision making. In B2B there might be multiple processes and people. In B2B, inbound marketing should involve customer’s problems, hotspots that gain attention; the trends and other viral things but still make it personal and differentiate the content for the customer. IN B2C it is important to find out the motives and the hidden motives. Meaning that customers have different needs, they can be compelling, planned or woken, which the last is the most important for the marketer. The most decisions are made by emotions as we all know by now, but it is about how to get to customer chance their needs. By making the buyer personas, companies can actually talk to customers as they were unique by grouping them. And when a company knows the buyer process it is easier to personally affect the customers and help them.

2. Help, don’t push

Kurvinen used a great example of the Finnish marketing guru Jari Parantainen, who decided that he is not going to make any phone calls to customers, the customers are going to call him. He has a blog, called, Pölli tästä where he writes about producing, and has made himself a source of value. He speaks about customer’s problems, not his. Customers don’t give a crap about someone else’s problems. What they are interested are their own problems. So provide a content that is intriguing for the customer and as said above Inbound marketing means that the content that company provides.

3. Lead with customer centricity aka bring value with every meeting

 Cold calling is dead. The goal is to leave the customer with an image that the company is easy to find in different contexts with a interesting and useful content. This in done by providing useful, customer centric content. Company blogs are the most used way of doing this. But there is different parts of the customer journey and the company should be available to offer something for every part of the journey to prevent the customer fallout. And this works like a funnel, where the most content provided on the beginning of the customer journey. That materials purpose is to wake the needs of the potential customers.

4. Leave the jargon.

  If you don’t the topic very good, you may hide it in the jargon talk, which to the customer, signals that this company has to be avoided when they don’t understand the jargon. According to Kurvinen; jargon talk is what is same for the unsure people and people who are full of themselves. So talk in customer’s language and about topics that interest them. The customers follow the one who says it the most interesting and easy to understand way. The content can make all the sorts of way. He used a company called Houston Inc. as an example since they even make their own series of videos about life inside the company. The content doesn’t have to be blog, it can be also infographics, videos, podcast, anyway something audio-visual since this that is the most common and easiest way to actually consume information.

 5. Build a brand

“sä olet yhtä hyvä kun sun viimesin teko” - Jarkko Kurvinen

You are as good as your latest action. And your competitor in only in next browser tab. The customers don’t differentiate you from your competitors. You have to know the basics; communication trough to how to make yourself to stand out, but there is more than that. Your brand is equal to your user experience and if you have succeeded, you know it because then your customers are your best marketing force. They recommend you and you should use those. Show, don’t tell. Nobody is interested in what you say you can do, but in what you have shown that you can do. The better you can plan and execute the value bringing customer interactions, the stronger is your brand going to be.

6. Become a media

 For a example he used their own project Toinen Mielipide. were they created a fuss and big thing in three weeks just by promoting it on social media. By this they wanted to become a priory source of information for their customers. To become a filter for the information that is out there and just refine the best pieces for your customers. You can take a new aspect fro customer stories, bring out your persona, fill it with the emotion and share the best tips and ticks for customer; don’t just do it for the image. If you want to stand out from the crowd, make thing that interests your followers, build interesting stories and the most important; help your customers to succeed.

Unfortunately, he had to rush through the end of his presentation because the time limit they had on the fair so he didn’t have time to explain the rest four rules.

7. Play with emotion
8. Challenge the customer
9. Lead the money process aka smash up the marketing and sales
10. Use personal brands

 The webinar about these rules can be listened here.  I unfortunately, didn’t have the time to actually listen to that this week. If the blog seemed a bit chaotic, I recommend watching that webinar, since there is lots of information on this blog that will be easier to understand if you have some knowledge what I am talking about.

Here, I salute you if you made it to the end because of even I and now too tired to read it all over again. These blogs are quite time-consuming, I started around 6 pm. Oopsie.   Luckily, we have a company visit tomorrow, located in the same street than my apartment so I can sleep the usual 45 min that I would be traveling to school. zzz

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